New year, new buzzwords.
Every year, new words enter the lexicon and we overuse them and then stop using them, and then look back a few years later and wonder what we were on about.
Lexicographers at the Oxford English Dictionary went for “vax” as their word of the year for 2021, and of course Brussels has its own, somewhat more complicated, jargon we all hope will one day go away: such as “Coreper,” “Fiscal Compact” and “subsidiarity.”
So what will be the EU’s words of 2022? Here are few suggestions:
Pangela: An intense feeling of missing Angela Merkel. As in, “there’s a massive crisis in the EU and I can feel a terrible Pangela attack coming on.”
FUKUS: Surprise new security alliance between France, the U.K. and the U.S. Also: What French people suspect Britain and the U.S. are permanently trying to do with their foreign policy. Example: “Mon Dieu! After AUKUS, now they want to FUKUS!”
Qataracts: Vision problems caused by pretending to focus on human rights concerns around the 2022 World Cup while really only caring about the football. “Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron talking about forced labor in Doha? Serious Qataracts!”
Manusplaining: Patronizing use of blindingly obvious points and clichés to expound on the French president’s reelection chances. Expected to reach a peak in April 2022. Must include references to Napoleon, de Gaulle and Monsieur Hulot.
SchLepen: Power couple of Olaf Scholz and Marine Le Pen (to be used only if the latter wins the French presidential election).
ROLOLZ: Amusement at EU attempts to make Poland and Hungary pay any attention whatsoever to the rule of law. Example: “Did you hear von der Leyen’s speech today? Totes ROLOLZ!”
Super-dreader event: Panel discussion in the Brussels Bubble on a technical issue. Preventative measures to avoid a super-dreader event include washing your hands (of any involvement in organizing the thing) and social distancing — i.e. leaving town, disabling Zoom and uninstalling all social media apps. How to avoid a super-dreader event: Watch out for danger words such as “moderator,” “think tank” and “financial instrument taxonomy.”
Squid Game: Annual negotiations on fish quotas in the Council. The loser dies.
Trialogue: New Polish form of justice based on EU-decision making, combining a criminal trial with a three-sided mediation process. The accused faces a panel of three independent judges — a legal expert, appointed by the Law and Justice party; a government minister from the Law and Justice Party; and Jarosław Kaczyński. This diverse panel ensures no interference by any political party, except Law and Justice, which is totally fine because it has the words “law” and “justice” in its name.